The Mount Vernon History Teacher of the Year Award is presented annually to a Washington, D.C. Metro area History or Social Studies teacher who brings creativity and passion to his or her classroom; instills a love of learning in students; and deepens student understanding and appreciation of history.

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Application Deadline

Award Notification

June 15, 2017

Do you know an exceptional History Teacher in the Washington, D.C. area?

The Prize

The winner of the Mount Vernon History Teacher of the Year will receive a $5,000 cash award, as well as an all-expense paid trip to George Washington's Mount Vernon for up to 200 students (inclusive of bus transportation, tickets to the Estate, and lunch vouchers).

The Mount Vernon Teacher of the Year runner-up will receive tickets to George Washington's Mount Vernon for up to 75 students and chaperones. 

Application Procedure

Teachers may submit a self-nomination or be nominated by a colleague. 

  • Resume: A two page (maximum) resume that includes mention of teaching grants or honors, curriculum materials created, and educational initiatives or programs with which the teacher has been involved.
  • Essay: For self-nominations, please provide a two-page (maximum) essay describing how you address the award criteria in your classroom, as well as your teaching philosophy and goals. For nominations made by a colleague, please provide a two-page (maximum) essay describing how the nominated teacher addresses the award criteria in his or her classroom and why you believe he or she is deserving of this honor. 
  • Letters of Support: A letter of support from the teacher’s school principal or county superintendent attesting to his or her skill as a history teacher, as well as a letter of support from a colleague or department chair.
  • Educational Materials: Sample educational materials used in the classroom that highlight the use of primary sources such as documents and/or material culture. 

Award Criteria

  • Full-time teachers, with at least two years of experience, who teach American history at the elementary, middle, or high school level
  • Creativity and accuracy in lesson development and classroom teaching
  • Ability to integrate primary sources such as documents and material culture into the study of history
  • Dedication to improving their students' understanding of historical content as well as fostering their knowledge of the importance of the study of history
  • Ability to cultivate in their students an abiding interest in and passion for the study of history
  • Must teach in Washington, D.C or the following counties or cities in Virginia and Maryland: Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Loudoun, Prince William, Stafford, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore County, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George's.

Meet the 2016 Mount Vernon History Teacher of the Year

Alissa Oginsky is a sixth-grade U.S. History teacher at Holmes Middle School in Alexandria, Virginia. She has participated in numerous educational experiences to enhance her leadership skills, including instruction at Mount Vernon, the National Museum of the American Indian, and Ford's Theatre. She has used these experiences to provide mentoring and resources to fellow history teachers. 

Of her work, she says, "My passion is in developing creative lessons which empower students and fellow educators to investigate stakeholders in their own learning."

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